At least one XBLIG developer doesn’t want you to buy his game

Posted: 2011/04/04 in Indie Games

At least one XBL Indie Game developer doesn’t want you to buy his game.

It all started so innocently and promisingly, with the developer proudly announcing the release of his game, Puzzle Lights, on the Xbox Live Indie Games channel.

It quickly beat his meagre sales forecast.

The game was apparently inspired by a Tiger LCD handheld game (in the following tweet he says “Tandy”, but corrected himself in his very next tweet).

The game continued to sell, to his continuing surprise.

Then when it kept selling he actually asked people to stop buying it, and recommended what he felt was a better game that people should buy instead.

It seems the game was created as a pet project by someone who felt nostalgic for an old Tiger handheld unit, a great way to experiment with Microsoft’s development tools and to make something that he would personally enjoy. Proving that we’re all our own worst critics, he is actually encouraging people to buy other games that he feels are better. What’s a developer experiencing unexpected success to do?

If you want to see what all the fuss is about for yourself, click here to download “PuzzleLights”, then please come back to review it.

Know someone else who would want to read the review, or rate the game? “Share This” and invite them to.

  1. Deeke says:

    This is a good article and exposes the true developer’s humble feelings about his XNA creation. As always I’m impressed by your work–keep it up!

    Plus its also nice to see a reviewer who focuses on the community itself, not just the games. You’re right in there talking to devs and gamers, paying attention to what they say and what’s going on.

    • I agree on every count, I found it to be a fascinating reaction to unexpected (and, in the mind of the developer, undeserved) success. Here’s someone who developed something seemingly just for himself, and can’t quite come to grips with the fact that other people (well, more than 10 other people) are enjoying it. I haven’t played it yet, but I intend to in no small part because of how earnest and genuine the developer is about this whole experience.

      As for the community, XBLIG developers are some really great, really genuine people that are great to converse with, as are the gamers who love what they do. They make doing this blog easy.

  2. Haha, I must…not…give in…. to…the reverse psychology.

    • I did briefly wonder that myself, but reading back through his Twitter feed I don’t think so. :) I’m surprised that he’s surprised, the game is simple but his implementation looks pretty polished. And being simple didn’t stop games like othello or checkers from becoming favourites for generations.

      • Yeah just messing around. :) It’s a very refreshing reaction to sales – as opposed to the neurotic obsession it’s easy to be overwhelmed by.

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